Police arrived at a Beitar apartment building to do a wellness check last week, after receiving calls that a small group of young children were caught stealing from the local grocery store. When confronted by staff, they said they were “hungry.” Authorities questioned neighbors who said that they had not seen the childrens’ parents “in weeks.” Upon knocking on the family’s door and investigating further, however, it was discovered that the situation was far more complicated than it appeared.
Rabbi and Mrs ‘Goldberg’ are the parents of four young children. Rabbi Goldberg is a revered Torah scholar in his community, and has authored many popular religious texts. Recently, however, Mrs. Goldberg has become seriously ill. Responsibility for keeping the house afloat, caring for the children full time and paying the bills as well, took a grim toll. During a recent yeshiva learning session, Rabbi Goldberg’s learning partner noticed that one side of his face looked limp, and that he was slurring his words. Thinking fast, an ambulance was called. The yeshiva erupted in chaos as Rabbi Goldberg began to convulse.
At the hospital he was told that he had suffered a stroke caused by stress. Both Goldberg parents are now bedridden, struggling to care for their four children. Money has become scarce. And so, the children, not wanting to cause their beloved father any more stress, slipped out to the neighborhood corner store to sneak a few chocolate puddings, telling themselves they would return them when they got the chance.
Av Beit Din of Beitar Rabi Tzvi Braverman is very involved with the situation, knows the family well, and has recorded the following powerful video message to the public:
Rabbi Braverman insists that the situation is a matter of ‘pikuach nefesh’ (life or death), and blesses all those who step up to help the family with nachat and success.